Imaan Hammam rides the NYC subway for Moschino

Egyptian-Moroccan model Imaan Hammam opened and closed the Moschino Pre-Fall 2020 show. AFP
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Updated 11 December 2019

Imaan Hammam rides the NYC subway for Moschino

  • Moschino's first catwalk show in New York took place at the Transit Museum
  • Egyptian-Moroccan model Imaan Hammam opened and closed the subway-inspired runway

DUBAI: For Moschino’s first catwalk show in New York — the brand typically shows in Milan — creative director Jeremy Scott chose to present the Italian label’s pre-fall 2020 collection at New York’s Transit Museum, with oversized Moschino Metrocards as the show invitations.

Show-goers were provided a car and a seat number within the Downtown institution housing artefacts of commuter systems, which is located two miles from Pratt University where Scott studied, and they buckled in for a show that was certainly a ride.

The runway show’s soundtrack opened with the familiar screeching of a train pulling in followed by the recording “Stand clear of the closing doors, please,” before hip-hop music began blasting through the speakers.

Opening the show was Moroccan-Egyptian model Imaan Hammam, who strutted down the museum’s platform through two rows of vintage subway cars. The first look of the collection was a cozy, grey tracksuit boasting oversized zippers that was paired with a fur stole, piles of gold chains and the quintessential New York footwear, Timberland boots.

 The Netherlands-bred beauty also closed the show, wearing a slinky, plunging gown that was dripping with embellishments. Naturally, the eveningwear was accessorized with an oversized Moschino boombox.

The 23-year-old joined the likes of supermodels Winnie Harlow, Yasmin Wijnaldum, Joan Smalls and Halima Aden, who all strode down Scott’s subway-runway in front of a star-studded front row that included American singer Kacey Musgraves, “Euphoria” star Storm Reid and “Riverdale” actress Madelaine Petsch. Each catwalk model sported temporary ink crafted by celebrity tattoo artist Jonboy.




Halima Aden donned a graphic, white suit covered in illustrations and an oversized ball-cap over her hijab. AFP

For her part, Somali-American model Aden, who was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, donned a graphic, white suit covered in illustrations and an oversized ball-cap over her hijab.

According to the show notes, Moschino’s pre-fall 2020 collection is meant to hit all the stylistic nuances of the Big Apple. This resulted in a lineup of stacked, nameplate gold chains, oversized baseball caps, XXL gold watches, platform boots that laced up the leg, vibrant windbreakers and beaded eveningwear that’s sure to costume Scott’s loyal celebrity clients such as Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj on red carpets in the months to come. 


From Syria to stardom: Zain Al-Rafeea sheds light on his Hollywood highlights

Zain Al-Rafeea spoke to Arab News about his role in ‘The Eternals.’ (File/AFP)
Updated 18 January 2020

From Syria to stardom: Zain Al-Rafeea sheds light on his Hollywood highlights

LOS ANGELES: A child is forced to leave home to escape a terrible fate. Growing up in a strange land, he develops a special talent and achieves greatness.

It is a familiar story that could describe the lives of a host of superheroes. But it also applies to refugee and actor Zain Al-Rafeea, and his courageous journey from Syria to stardom.

Al-Rafeea was born in 2004. His family fled the Syrian conflict when he was eight, moving to Lebanon, where they were forced to find shelter in the slums of Beirut.

“Unfortunately, refugees face harsh conditions in Lebanon because the country has so many of them,” Al-Rafeea told Arab News. “I never thought I would be an actor or a famous person. I just dreamt of being safe with my family and that nothing bad would happen to them. I was focusing on making money to support my parents.”

In late 2017, Al-Rafeea’s life was changed by a chance encounter with Jennifer Haddad, casting director and collaborator of acclaimed Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki.

“I was in the street with a group of friends. I saw Jennifer, and she asked me if I would like to act. My first reaction was like ‘OK, I have no problem with that.’ She took a video of me, sent it to Nadine and things went on from there.”

Labaki cast Al-Rafeea as the lead in her 2018 drama “Capernaum.” The film was a hit, and the young actor’s performance was lauded by both audiences and critics.

“I did not imagine in my wildest dreams that I have such an international success,” Al-Rafeea said. “I just thought of it as an acting experience, but things went in a much better direction.”

In November, it was announced that Al-Rafeea will join the cast of Marvel’s upcoming “The Eternals.” The film tells the story of a race of immortal aliens who lived on Earth in secret, and features A-list stars such as Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek.

“The introduction happened through Nadine. Directors and producers from Hollywood talked to her and she put us in touch,” Al-Rafeea said.

The actor met his fellow cast members on the Canary Islands during the early stages of filming. “They were nice and their welcome to me was very sweet,” he said. “They invited me for lunch and we chatted for hours, I felt so happy.

“When we finished the first day’s shooting, Salma Hayek came up and hugged me. That night she gave me an iPad and iPhone, and we chatted and listened to music together.”

The teenage star couldn’t reveal much about his role in “The Eternals,” only that he joins the alien heroes as a human who can speak a mysterious 7,000-year-old language.

Life in the Beirut slums is a thing of the past for the Al-Rafeea family. With their son’s success, they were able to relocate to Norway.

“It is a perfect country, the people are so calm, and there are no fights or even traffic. Having water and electricity all the time is a great thing.” While he is excited about his new home, Al-Rafeea has not forgotten his friends, family and the home he left behind in Syria.

“Work hard for nothing is impossible — look what happened to me,” Al-Rafeea said in a message to children facing situations like the one he endured. “Simply dream big.”

“The Eternals” is due to be released in the US on Nov. 6, 2020. A Middle Eastern premiere date is yet to be announced.